Firm Profile > Clarke Willmott LLP > Bristol, England

Clarke Willmott LLP

Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP's team covers commercial litigation in multiple areas, such as agriculture, banking, defamation, financial services and intellectual property. The firm also handles contentious issues involving niche areas, such as classic cars and commercial agents regulations; practice head Alex Jakubowski is a noted expert in the latter area. It is also a first port of call among clients in the energy and natural resources sector.

Practice head(s):

Alex Jakubowski

Other key lawyers:

Richard Moore; Ed Halden; James Marshall; David Stedman


Top-flight commercial team that has real strength in depth

Excellent technically and tactically, and a real pleasure to work alongside

Excellent service, the best in the south west

Key strength to Clarke Willmott is that they really think through the issues in a case so that they then focus on what the client needs

Alex Jakubowski is technically and tactically superb, a real heavyweight powerhouse of a commercial litigator

Alex Jakubowski sets a course and then achieves his client’s goals

Richard Moore has excellent judgement generally, knows how to build and maintain a first-rate relationship with clients and knows when to get involved in the detail and when to let counsel get on with it

I would single out Ed Halden for his stellar written work and willingness to take responsibility

I was impressed with David Stedman, a solicitor advocate who handled a number of difficult interim applications in the case; he is mature beyond his years

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

Arbuthnot Latham

Secure Trust Bank

Hodge Bank

Burford Capital

Wellesley Finance

China Industries Limited ta “Wow! Stuff”

National Farmers Union

Roland DG

Debt recovery Tier 1

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP provides a comprehensive service to clients, with work covering general debt recovery advice, high-volume pre-legal debt collection and insolvency action, among other matters. It regularly advises clients on all stages of collections, including pre-action letters, court proceedings, payment agreements, bankruptcies, IVAs and CVAs. Philip Roberts and Kathryn Quinton jointly lead the practice; Roberts is experienced in advising commercial clients and residential landlords, while Quinton oversees the firm's government and insurance contracts.

Practice head(s):

Philip Roberts; Kathryn Quinton


Clarke Willmott is a very down to earth, yet professional body – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. They explain things in layman terms without coming across as superior

I would pick out the quality of the communication; responses are prompt, informative and strike the right balance between politeness and professionalism

The team communications appear to work well

The team is highly qualified in all aspects of debt recovery, and has taken the time to get to know our business and the environment that we work in. Every member of the team is knowledgeable and takes the time to give various options to us, along with their recommendations

They are always happy to go the extra mile for us and nothing seems too much trouble

They are the benchmark for us, we compare other firms’ performance against them and have yet to find one that beats their service

They are quick in dealing with cases

My contact has been Caroline Wheeler; the team she works with are extremely efficient and I feel I can always turn to them if I ever have any property-based problems

The service provided by Kayleigh Linford in particular has been well received. Kayleigh is always responsive and has achieved a number of good results for us

Phil Roberts has been the main contact and he has been extremely helpful and given regular feedback and recommendations to assist with the recovery of the debt

Phil Roberts is always on-hand and available to provide practical and good advice. Nothing is too much trouble for him, and he has regularly come into the business to provide seminars/workshops to various teams

Kayleigh Linford is a delight to work with. She is always happy to hear from us, no matter how close to Court deadlines we get, and always displays a calm and unflappable attitude. She provides clear and concise advise and shows a good understanding of how our business works

Key clients

Abbott Fielding

Access Self Storage Limited

Active Iq

Alabaré Christian Care And Support

Albert E James & Son Ltd

Antony Batty & Company

Baker Tilly Creditor Services Limited

Batmink Limited T/a Batmink Distribution

Beckett And Kay Llp

Benedict Mackenzie

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Limited

Brymore Academy

Build Supplies Ltd

Built Environment Communications Group Limited

Bulley Davey

Burton Sweet Corporate Recovery Limited

Butlers Walk Management Company Limited

Bystronic Uk Limited

C N Unwin Ltd

Capital Books

Car Finance 247

Cave Veterinary Specialists Ltd

Celestia Management Company Limited

Better Move Limited

Cognitive Group Limited

Contempo Recruitment

Corona Energy

CVR Global LLP

Dan-Floor (uk) Ltd

Debt Clear Associates

Deloitte Llp

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency

Dunwear Property Limited

Fifteen Twelve Limited

Foster & Foster Solicitors

Four Seasons Tree Services Ltd

Francis Clark Llp

Freeman Rich

Frp Advisory Llp

Fusion People Limited

Gibson Booth

Good Energy Gas Ltd

Good Energy Limited

Grant Thornton Uk Llp

Greenslade Taylor Hunt


Hanger Court ( Management) Limited

Harper Group Construction Limited


Herron Fisher

Hgc Civil Engineering Ltd

Highways England

Hunts Foodservice Ltd

Hydes Of Bristol

Joma Sport (UK)

Kevin Brown Advisory Limited

Kingston Smith & Partners Llp

Kpmg Llp

Larking Gowen

Ldl Components Limited

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Liberta Financial Ltd

London Borough Of Enfield

Mazars Llp

Menzies Business Recovery Llp

Mike Warren Consultancy Ltd

Moore Stephens

Newport Land Reclamation Ltd

Origin Housing Limited

Palmer & Harvey Mclane Ltd

Park Resorts Limited

Paystream My Max Ltd

Pieminister Ltd

Powervamp Limited

Premier Training International Limited

Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP

Pulse Printing Products Limited

Queenswood Natural Foods

Quinn Building Products

Quinn Cement

Quinn Cement ( N I) Ltd

Quinn Therm Ltd

Rawle Gammon & Baker Ltd

Remarkable Pendragon Limited

Rexquote Ltd

Richard Long & Co

Richmond Event Management Ltd

Rogerstone Woodworkers Limited C/o Parkmans

Safe Transport (south West) Limited

Salons Management Limited

Sid Valley Practice

Smith & Williamson Llp

Smith Cooper

Snows Timber Ltd

Sony Europe Ltd

South West Water

Springfields Advisory Llp

Stone King Llp

Thames Water Utilities Ltd

The Insolvency Service

The Mayor And Burgesses Of The London Borough Of Harrow

The Moore Scarrott Partnership LLP

The Scotts Company (uk) Limited

The University Of Reading Science & Technology Centre Ltd

Thomas & Claire Cave T/a Cave Veterinary Speciialists

Tmb Day Nurseries Ltd

Turpin Barker Armstrong

UHY Hacker Young

Unity Farm Holiday Centre Ltd T/a Holiday Resort Unity

University Of Reading

Viridor Enviroscot Limited

Viridor Waste (Thames) Ltd

Viridor Waste Exeter Limited

Viridor Waste Management Limited

Viridor Waste Management Limited

W. Gadsby And Son Limited

Wellington School

Wellington Self Storage Ltd

Wembley National Stadium Limited

Wessex Resolutions C.I.C.

Wessex West Country Finance Ltd

Westminster Court ( Kingshurst) Management Company Limited

Wilson Field Ltd

Windsor Heights ( Redditch) Management Co Limited

Wireless Logic Ltd

Family Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP assists with cross-border divorce proceedings, handles private children disputes and is experienced in negotiating nuptial and cohabitation agreements. The firm also drafts financial settlements involving companies, partnerships, trusts and farm businesses. Practice head Gareth Schofield is additionally experienced in advising on unmarried family disputes.

Personal injury: claimant Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP advises adults and children on injury cases relating to brain, spinal cord, industrial diseases involving asbestosis and mesothelioma, as well as amputation injuries. The practice is also experienced in handling fatal accident claims, neurological injuries such as brachial plexus and multiple orthopaedic fractures. Practice head Lee Hart also assists with claims arising from accidents involving animals, while associate Melanie Brown is a specialist in child and adult psychiatric disorders.

Practice head(s):

Lee Hart

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Trump; Melanie Brown


This firm has massive experience and is really engaged with clients and their cases.

A good team providing both breadth and depth in experience and ability.

The practice undertakes work at the highest level.

The team has an excellent understanding of clients, communicates well between all parties and keeps everyone informed. People with the right expertise handle the cases.

Professional negligence Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP primarily acts on the claimant side and assists with claims against accountants, tax advisors, land agents, banking surveyors, as well as architects, engineers and construction consultants. The firm handles claims against lawyers and accountants arising from negligent advice on tax avoidance schemes, and the failure to take tax consequences into account in corporate transactions. The practice also regularly advises uninsured defendants. The 'superbAlex Jakubowski  is practice co-head and regularly handles lender claims. He also acts for banks, peer-to-peer lenders and building societies.

Practice head(s):

Alex Jakubowski; Philippa Hann


The team is a high-calibre claimant-orientated firm who is not scared of going after big ticket defendants – and it has the resources to do it

Sound pragmatic advice sensibly delivered

Alex Jakubowski is simply superb at the overall tactical aspect of dealing with a case

Key clients

Alton & 10 Ors

Hammond & 4 Ors

British Steel Workers

Lloyds Bank

Wellesley Finance

RQ Capital

Arbuthnot Latham

Molson Group

Gynn Construction

Medina Capital

Sport Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP's national sports sector team excels in representing professional athletes - particularly football and rugby players - in employment-related matters. It also advises coaches and professional sports organisations, among other clients. The team's work often comprises cross-border elements, with strong links with clients in the US being particularly notable. Kevin Jones is the group head.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Tim Copplestone; Sarah Driscoll

Key clients

Bristol Bears Rugby

Bristol Flyers Basketball

Bristol Sport

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club

Somerset County Cricket Club

Wasserman Media Group

The Rugby Players’ Association


Decathlon UK

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP’s agriculture and estate practice advises on the structuring of agri-businesses, lifetime tax planning, and the sale and purchase of agricultural land, as well as on the negotiation of tenancy agreements and contentious tenancy disputes. The firm also handles succession planning matters and acts for banks on secured lending transactions undertaken by agricultural borrowers. Senior partner Tim Hayden leads the team, which includes the 'meticulous' Rod Lloyd-Jones.

Practice head(s):

Tim Hayden


A well-respected firm with a great reputation that the practice easily lives up to

Very happy with the depth of knowledge shown

Rod Lloyd-Jones is very thorough in his title investigations, making sure that the lender’s interests are protected throughout. His practical no-nonsense stance is most welcome!

Rod Lloyd-Jones is diligent and meticulous, whilst also working at pace

Key clients

The National Farmers’ Union

The Masters of Foxhounds Association

Lloyds Banking Group


The Countryside Alliance

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP handles cases relating to orthopaedic claims, delays in diagnosis of cancer, as well as clinical negligence cases linked to birth injuries and brain diseases such as meningitis and encephalitis. The practice is also experienced in handling stillbirth and neonatal fatal claims. Another area of expertise is litigations arising from sperm destruction claims and loss of fertility.

Practice head(s):

Chris Thorne; Kerry Fifield


This team take on difficult, complex cases and deal with them to a very high standard with excellent results

A very knowledgeable and competent clinical negligence team

Commercial litigation: The West Country Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong capability representing clients based in the South West in agricultural litigation. The firm also represents SMEs in a wide range of matters. Practice head Greg Saunders has a particular specialism in shareholder disputes and restrictive covenant injunctions, among other areas.

Practice head(s):

Greg Saunders

Other key lawyers:

Esther Woolford


Strong breadth and depth of experience. Certainly towards the top of the mid-size regional firms in the area. Very strong expertise in key regional areas, such as agriculture

Excellent quality of work

Instructions prepared in a orderly fashion and sent in good time

Always someone in the team available to speak to

The team are very polite and easy to speak to

They are a very responsive and well organised team, and a pleasure to work with

Bonita Walters is tenacious and very diligent in her work. Always goes the extra mile for clients

Greg Saunders is a steady hand at the helm, very experienced and instills confidence in clients

Robert Mullen is a rising young talent, very hard working and tactically astute

Sarah O’Grady is experienced and solid, she has a wonderful client manner and a real depth of knowledge

Esther Woolford is a standout lawyer, responsive to her clients and attentive to the needs of a case. She goes the extra mile to deliver the best outcome

Key clients


AHCI Limited

Supercat Limited

G-A-Y Group Limited

Bridgwater & Taunton College


Commercial property: Bristol Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP features prominently in some of the largest residential development schemes in the South West, and it is also a powerhouse in commercial development projects, investment acquisitions and disposals, and property portfolio management. Also notable is that the firm is particularly strong in real estate matters with a nexus to the telecoms and renewables sectors. Clients include developers, investors, retailers, telecoms operators, and business occupiers, among others. Louise Brown heads up the group, which includes William JuckesLaurence LaceyGreg Lovett and Oliver SmedleyClare Day departed for Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Practice head(s):

Louise Brown


The property team is a delight to work with.

The team is all about finding simple and creative solutions to complicated problems.

The strength of the Bristol office lies in the cohesiveness of the wider team – the client can easily call on experienced practitioners to advise on related specialist matters.

Oliver Smedley takes a creative commercial approach to getting the best deals for his property clients.

Key clients

Eagle One

Bath Recreation

Bath Abbey


Easterton & Markfield Investments

Mapeley Steps

Secure Trust Bank

Commercial property: The West Country Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP's commercial property team has a strong track record in the housebuilding, commercial development and investment sectors. It is also knowledgeable about all types of issues that arise from property portfolio management. Although Philip Brown handles a wide spectrum of work, his practice has a particular emphasis on residential and commercial development, where he mostly acts for developers, promoters and landowners. Tim Walker is also active in the development space. Roger Seaton’s real estate practice focuses on property finance.

Practice head(s):

Nick Francombe; Tim Walker

Other key lawyers:


Great, high-quality advice from a strong team with superb knowledge, understanding, commercial reality and pragmatism

The team has confidence that only comes with the experience it has

Clients get London-quality services at costs significantly lower than London rates

Nothing is too challenging for this impressive property team

The firm’s property seminars are an added bonus, providing a timely round-up of recent case law and clarifying the direction in which decisions and future legislation could go

Philip Brown is excellent, charismatic, very hard-working, and detail-oriented

Philip Brown provides excellent advice, both quickly and with a strong understanding of the commercial drivers underlying any transaction

Roger Seaton has the unique ability to spot and resolve the key issues of every matter, which makes him a very safe pair of hands for all kinds of corporate real estate transactions

Key clients

Summerfield Developments

Scotsgrove Holdings


Persimmon Homes

Countryside Properties

Metis Homes

Bradford & Sons

Precis Group

Bridgwater & Taunton College

Bathurst Limited

Construction Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP's dedicated construction practice, which has a national footprint, places a particular emphasis on sectors such as waste management, waste-to-energy, transport and infrastructure. In Bristol, Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden specialises in construction dispute resolution, and is particularly experienced in acting for registered providers and housing associations in the social housing sector. Recently promoted partner Natalie Read also focuses on dispute resolution. Non-contentious construction work is led by Zoe Stollard.

Practice head(s):

Priscilla Hall (London); Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden; Zoe Stollard

Other key lawyers:


The team is very experienced in construction matters

Team members provide clear and concise advice

Lawyers on this team are able to handle all types of construction-related queries. Responses are always speedy, especially when urgent advice is needed. The team also goes out of its way to build stable relationships with clients.

Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden and Zoe Stollard are both very knowledgeable and efficient

Key clients

L&Q Group

Ashville Group

Secure Trust Bank

Stonewater Housing Association

Sutton Harbour Services

GreenSquare Group

Lloyds Bank


Aster Group

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP is experienced in handling proprietary estoppel claims, will disputes involving farm tenancies and partnerships, as well as disputes between trustees and beneficiaries amongst high-net-worth individuals and wealthy landed estate families. Senior associate Sarah O’Grady deals with a broad range of contentious trusts and probate matters, regularly defends proprietary estoppel claims and acts for executors and beneficiaries on estate claims.

Practice head(s):

Esther Woolford; Bonita Walters

Other key lawyers:

Sarah O’Grady; Daniel Gill

Key clients

The National Farmers’ Union

The Countryside Alliance

St James’s Place Wealth Management

Crime: general Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP prosecutes and defends criminal and regulatory matters including environmental, farming and hunting investigations and offences, health and security matters as well as motoring and speeding offences. Practice head Tim Hayden is also head of agriculture, a partner in the private client and commercial litigation team and a deputy traffic commissioner.

Practice head(s):

Tim Hayden

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Gill; Jodie Coles

Key clients

National Farmers’ Union

Masters of Foxhounds Association

Egford Bacon

The Countryside Alliance

Employment: Bristol Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong reputation for advising on complex employment matters in the sports sector, and represents a number of local and national sporting bodies and teams. In addition, the team regularly acts for high-profile athletes and sports managers in employment matters, both in terms of ongoing disputes and transfers. The team also performs well in the agricultural, manufacturing and retail sectors. Kevin Jones is head of the firm's national employment team from the Bristol office, and is active in the aforementioned sports sector. Sharon Latham covers both the public and private sector, and comes highly recommended in the employment practice.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Tim Copplestone; Sharon Latham


Over the years, Clarke Willmott has provided our business with invaluable support and guidance. They are an integral and significant part of our suite of external advisors providing both HR and Employment specific advice, as well as guidance and support on crossover areas like GDPR

Their holistic approach really sets the team apart from the siloed advice of their competitors

Sharon feels like an extension to our in-house HR team. She knows our business so well I always feel like she fully understands the challenges we face and is always on hand in a moment’s notice which can prevent situations escalating

Sharon advises our legal and HR teams as well as our local, regional and global executives providing them with advice and guidance appropriately tailored to the audience

Sharon stands out for her efforts to provide genuinely practical guidance and her ability to offer real world solutions to our HR and employment problems

Key clients


Rawle Gammon and Baker Holdings Limited

Wasserman Media Group

Oscar Mayer Limited

Decathlon UK Limited

Primrose Group Limited

Fowlers of Bristol Limited

Bradfords & Sons Limited

The Rugby Players’ Association

Aqua Italia

CityWest Homes Limited

Employment: The West Country Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP advises business clients on restructurings and redundancies and trade union relations. In addition, it assists clients with all aspects of contentious cases; recent highlights included unfair dismissal claims, and cases involving discrimination allegations and whistleblowing. Taunton-based Kate Gardner is particularly knowledgeable about the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):

Kate Gardner

Other key lawyers:

Juliette Staunton


From the moment I went to Kate Gardner and her Team at Clarke Wilmott I was able to switch off and Kate sorted the employment issue I was experiencing. I wholeheartedly recommend Clarke Willmott

Extremely strong, very hands-on and terrific

The team is very flexible and understands the world of business. Solutions in the world of employment law need to be practical and commercial as well as complying with legislation. Clarke Willmott is very good at getting the balance right

They help you find options and solutions that are practical business options

The service is friendly, understanding and of the highest professional standard

Emma Hamnett is very professional, cost-effective and smart

Kate Gardner always makes the time to talk with me. I like the personal touch; seems more like a friend than a solicitor. She always keeps me well informed and up to date with the matter in hand

Key clients

ACC Silicones Limited

Isedio Limited

South and West Wiltshire Hunt

Amica Care Trust

Really Comfy Beds t/a Loaf

Sun Life Insurance

Summerfield Developments South West Ltd

Frogmary Green Farm Limited

Chelston Park Nursing and Residential Home Ltd

Bowering Animal Feeds Limited

Cave Veterinary Specialist Limited

St Johns Nurseries Limited

Greenslade Taylor Hunt

Rainbow Club Limited

Brean Down Caravan Park Limited

Sun Life Limited

Krystal Hosting Limited

Plantforce Rentals Limited

Azronet Limited

Abbey Manor Group Limited

Branston Limited

Plus One

Milsted Langdon LLP

Refresco Beverages UK Limited

Queens College

St Margaret’s Hospice Somerset Limited

Xeiad Limited

Wyke Farms Limited

Castle Hill Quarry Limited

Testbourne Estate

Horseley Farm Partnership

Immigration Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP's immigration team sits within the wider employment practice, and advises businesses on employee transfers and foreign migrant sponsorship. It also assists individuals with visa issues. Immigration disputes are another pillar of the practice. Team head Alex Jakubowski regularly advises Tier 1 entrepreneurs and investors. Tim Copplestone is another key figure, who assists clients with sponsor licensing, Right to Work issues and compliance. He also has specialist expertise in the sports sector, and has represented professional sports players and clubs in immigration matters.

Practice head(s):

Alex Jakubowski

Other key lawyers:


Everybody in the immigration team at Clarke Willmott was very positive and communicated well. The team worked tightly and we highly recommend them

Tim Copplestone is very professional , efficient, responsible and works very hard. He offers professional credibility through fantastic work, and we are very satisfied with him

Key clients

Bandai UK Limited

Jiangsu Guotai International Group Shanghai Import and Export Co Limited

Kong Company Limited

ClearView IP Ltd

Talent International Limited

Cave Veterinary Specialists

Ghwain Tech Co. Limited

Microdesk Inc. and Microdesk Ltd

Somerset County Cricket Club

Riversand Technologies UK Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP provides non-contentious advice to clients facing the risk of insolvency, and also provides ongoing assistance with managing the formal insolvency process. The team's recent highlights included handling multiple complex claims against directors for allowing specific creditors to be targeted for non-payment, and for causing companies to enter into employee benefit trusts (EBTs). Clients include insolvency practitioners, official receivers, government bodies, creditors and debtors. The core seven-strong restructuring and insolvency team works closely with practitioners in the firm’s property, property litigation, corporate and employment departments. Martin Askew, who is ‘a good person to have on your side’, handles complex insolvency litigation and misfeasance-related claims. Ken MacLennan is ‘the standout lawyer for non-contentious insolvency work’, according to one client.

Practice head(s):

Martin Askew; Ken MacLennan


A highly innovative team

The partners’ skillsets complement each other perfectly

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

CVR Global

Grant Thornton UK

Kingston Smith & Partners


Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group




Smith & Williamson

The Insolvency Service

Wilkins Kennedy

WSM Marks Bloom

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Being especially active in the agriculture sector, Clarke Willmott LLP maintains a rural client base and focuses on real estate planning to individuals and entrepreneurs along with the resulting advisory wills, trusts and probate aspects. The firm also assists with the establishment and management of family trusts as well as in relation to the winding up of taxable estates.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Fairweather

Other key lawyers:

Emma Pope; Samantha Grimwood; Imogen Lea


A highly competent team with excellent specialist knowledge

Clarke Willmott is very professional and has an excellent work ethic. All details are explained in clear language

A very friendly and accommodating firm

No matter how often they are contacted: they are always ready to answer queries or make early appointments

Key clients

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Bristol City Council

Somerset County Council

St. James’s Place Wealth Management

Planning Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP acts for clients on mixed-use development schemes, residential-led developments and infrastructure projects. In addition, contentious work is on the increase at the firm, with ‘exceptional lawyer’ Chris Charlton having experience of judicial review challenges at the Planning Court, among other matters. The group’s wide-ranging client base includes established housebuilders, commercial developers, landowners and promoters. The ‘proactive and extremely competentNeil Baker, who heads up the department, has extensive experience of handling complex planning applications. Caroline Waller has ‘top-class’ knowledge of town and country planning and highways law.

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker

Other key lawyers:


A good team, which provides consistently strong, spot-on legal advice

Everyone on the team is always ready to help

All team members are professional, knowledgeable, responsive and attentive

Caroline Waller is excellent at her job and always a pleasure to work with

Caroline Waller is very highly regarded within the development industry in the South West

Neil Baker is by far the best planning and environment lawyer out there

Neil Baker and Chris Charlton are exceptionally personable and are always available to provide advice

Key clients

Acorn Property Group

Alliance Housing Group

Aster Group

Barratt Homes Bristol

Bovis Homes

CG Fry & Son

Crest Nicholson

Countryside Properties (UK)

David Wilson Homes South West

Eagle One

GreenSquare Group

Guinness Partnership

Hannick Homes

HPH Developments

Keepmoat Homes

LiveWest Housing

L&Q Housing Trust

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Persimmon Homes

South West Strategic Developments

Strategic Land Partnerships

Summerfield Developments

Sutton Harbour Holdings

The Scotts Company (UK)

West of England Developments

Yarlington Homes

Property litigation Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP handles the gamut of property litigation work for clients in sectors such as property investment, social housing, retail, telecoms, and utilities. Taunton-based Nicola Seager has experience of a wide range of issues, including dilapidations, service charges, forfeiture and lease renewals, among others.

Practice head(s):

Chris Taylor; Simon Freeman

Other key lawyers:



The team has highly capable lawyers who are experts within their field

A great combination of City-quality of legal advice given at regional prices

Everyone on the team is brilliant and focuses on the needs of the clients

Nicola Seager delivers results in a simple, pragmatic and totally efficient manner

Key clients



Lidl UK GmbH

Principality Holdings

PG Lewins

The Ashtenne Industrial Fund

Ashville Properties

Aster Group

Barratt Homes

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Bristol Water

Burger King

Celestia Management Company

Social housing Tier 2

The ‘efficient and dependable’ social housing team at Clarke Willmott LLP acts for a growing number of registered providers and housing associations. Working with the firm’s other offices nationwide, the team in the South West provides full service support to regional and national clients. It has excellent credentials in all aspects of commercial property and development work, which includes land acquisitions and disposals, construction, development and housing management. A separate commercial property team assists clients with managing their property portfolios, while a property litigation group handles contentious work in connection with leasehold issues and development disputes. Elsewhere, a partner-led corporate team undertakes a wide range of transactions for social housing clients, and also provides advice on governance and regulatory issues. Kary Withers is the overall head of the practice, with other key figures including Oliver SmedleyHelen WittramAnna-Liisa Blanks-Walden and Kate Saunders.

Practice head(s):

Kary Withers; Oliver Smedley; Helen Wittram; Anna-Liisa Blanks-Walden


A very dependable and experienced team who provides excellent services

Team members are highly competent and happy to answer all questions

Allowing excellent access to partners, client service is certainly a strength of the firm

Kary Withers provides competent advice in a friendly manner, which is also easy to understand

Helen Wittram is a great and highly experienced communicator, who is also dedicated and easy to contact

Key clients

Advantage South West

Alliance Homes Group

Yarlington Housing

Aster Group

The Guinness Partnership

United Communities

GreenSquare Group


London and Quadrant Housing Trust

Magna Housing Association

Sovereign Housing Association

Raven Housing Trust

Banking and finance Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP stands out for its strengths in real estate finance transactions, including commercial portfolio financing and refinancing, investment acquisitions and development finance. Elsewhere, agriculture and healthcare are other sectors of focus. Roger Seaton leads the team, which acts for a wide range of lenders, including high-street and private banks.

Practice head(s):

Roger Seaton

Key clients

Lloyds Bank


Secure Trust Bank

Arbuthnot Latham & Co.

Santander UK

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Cambridge &  Counties Bank

Charterbank Capital

Allied Irish Bank

Triodos Bank

Corporate and commercial: Bristol Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP advises mid-market corporate clients on their serial acquisition strategies, and also handles venture capital and private equity-backed transactions for management teams and investors. Cross-border transactions are an area of growth of the practice, with the firm advising clients on the UK aspects. Simon Thomas, who heads up the corporate team, provides corporate M&A, private equity and AIM advice.

Practice head(s):

Simon Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Simon Smith; Robert Ridd


Very efficient and true to their word

Robert Ridd was very pleasant, easy to deal with and supportive throughout the deal

Key clients

Goonvean Holdings Limited

Addnode Group AB

DSI International Luxembourg Sarl

Eduko Education Limited

Talent International UK Limited

Prysm Media Group Limited

Thames Card Technology Limited

Applus Services

Altitude Partners LLP

Munters Group AB

Environment Tier 3

On the non-contentious side, Clarke Willmott LLP has an excellent record in large infrastructure projects. It also demonstrates strong credentials in contentious matters, such as enforcement prosecutions and other actions undertaken by environmental regulatory authorities. Environmental claims are another key work stream. Bristol-based Neil Baker advises clients, such as developers and landowners, on the environmental aspects of planning applications for (and appeals into) major housing sites, commercial and mixed use developments, and urban regeneration projects. Tim Hayden in Taunton has expertise in waste management, contaminated land, air and water pollution and statutory nuisance. In December 2018, Karen Howe departed for DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker; Tim Hayden

Key clients

Acorn Property Group

Barratt Homes Bristol

Bristol Water

David Wilson Homes South West

Exmoor National Park Authority

Isle of Wight Council

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Persimmon Homes

The Scotts Company (UK)

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP has an excellent reputation acting for landowners in disputes with telecoms operators; practice head Kary Withers has a first-rate reputation in this space. In addition, having played a significant role in the government's consultation on the new Electronics Communications Code (which came into force in 2017), the firm has handled litigation connected with the new legislation. Also notable is that the group works closely with the commercial practice to assist IT clients with contractual matters.

Practice head(s):

Kary Withers

Other key lawyers:

Beverley Pike; Aimee Davies;


They are all extremely personable and build good working relationships with clients

Prompt and reliable in responding to queries, and always offer a helpful and friendly response

The individuals at the firm stand out because they take a genuine interest in their clients

Simon Day and Kary Withers are particularly reliable, especially when working to tight deadlines, which are always met

Key clients

The PG Group

Pinnacle Towers Limited

The Guinness Partnership


The Berkeley Group


Onecom Group Limited

Eris Media Solutions Limited

The Student Room Group Limited

LiveWest (part of ASW Framework)

Lewisham Homes Limited

Mapeley Estates

Energy Tier 4

Clarke Willmott LLP's energy and natural resources group assists both local and foreign clients with legal issues arising from infrastructure projects, high-value developments and the construction of power stations. The team also focuses on transactional work in the renewables sector. Practice head Priscilla Hall advises developers on energy technology. Laurence Lacey handles the property aspects of energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Priscilla Hall

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Future Biogas

EnviTec Biogas AG

Alpha Real Capital


Styles & Wood Group

ResMan AS

Aqua Consultants

Corporate tax Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP’s tax department has a wide range of expertise assisting clients in areas such as real estate and housing associations in addition to  corporate tax and includes related litigation. In particular, the team focuses on property structuring for the property investment market, the creation of property funds, de-enveloping issues, offshore property trading, SDLT, ATED, NRCGT and capital gains tax. Other areas of strength include the implementation of share incentive schemes and the negotiation of settling historic tax liabilities. Niall Murphy heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Niall Murphy


They have been very good , responsive and fair.

Responsive, knowledgeable and practical. They do not waste time with unnecessary complexity.

Commonsense is applied and they get to the point quickly with a deep knowledge of their subject areas.

Niall Murphy is the most practical and down-to-earth lawyer I have met.

Key clients

Onecom Group Limited

Addnode Group AB

Aquis Exchange Plc

Oerlikon Drive Systems GbmH, Pfaffikon (now changed name to Graziano Fairfield AG)

Eduko Education Limited

Total Solutions (Southern) Limited t/a Total Rail Solutions

Eton Fire Limited

Marindus Group Limited

Import Services Limited

Burgon & Ball Limited

Intellectual property Tier 1

National firm Clarke Willmott LLP has a focus on international clients, which it advises in tandem with its network of correspondent law firms around the world, handling matters relating to anti-counterfeiting and enforcement. The firm represents a plethora of blue-chip international clients with a particular focus on the technology sector. The 'exceptionalRoy Crozier leads the team, which clients say 'can go toe-to-toe with the top London firms in IP litigation'. Senior associate Andrew Stone has experience of complex litigation and is also recommended. The firm also has a substantial trade mark filings practice.

Practice head(s):

Roy Crozier

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Stone; Susan Hall 


Top quality regional intellectual property expertise’.

Roy Crozier and his team are based in Manchester, but have shown that they can go toe-to-toe with the top London firms in IP litigation’.

Andrew Stone is an excellent senior associate, who manages litigation efficiently and impressively’.

Roy Crozier is an exceptional IP lawyer. His knowledge is second to none and the perfect choice for any litigation’.

Andrew Stone’s attention to detail is fantastic, his advice is always sound and he also understands business needs’.

Andrew has successfully litigated on our behalf and also represented us in court, he is a highly qualified individual who I would highly recommend’.

The team is highly knowledgeable and bat well above their weight, they can handle any size of litigation and take on any size of firm’.

Roy Crozier is a clear-headed group leader, he is a straightforward lawyer who gets to the heart of the matter’.

Key clients

Fred Perry

Heritage Audio

Ugg Australia

Otter Products, LLC (OtterBox) and owner of TreeFrog Developments, Inc. (LifeProof)




PUIG Group




Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 2

Property finance is a key area of focus at Clarke Willmott LLP, which acts for names such as Interbay Funding and Lloyds Bank Plc, among others. The firm also demonstrates strong capabilities in property investment transactions, and generates a significant amount of work from London-based clients. Elsewhere, the group is highly reputed for commercial landlord and tenant matters, and is also sought out for its development expertise. Peter Swinburn leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Peter Swinburn


Professionals make it clear what they are going to do within a defined time frame and execute accordingly‘.

If a commercial judgement has to be made during a transaction, they are able to summarise the risks to the lender and client ensuring the process moves forward‘.

It is always a joy to work with this team; they bring the fun to business while remaining focused on the end goal. The individuals are very experienced and can cut through the noise to get to the heart of the issue‘.

Peter Swinburn is totally reliable, conscientious and someone you would want to have on side when dealing with property issues and transactions. He takes great pride in his work and delivers a great service for the client‘.

Key clients

Interbay Funding

Lloyds Bank

Fat Face

New Forest District Council

Meritas Properties

Horatio Properties Limited

Marina Developments Ltd

London and Cambridge Properties Limited

Sheet Anchor Evolve Limited

Farrow & Ball Limited

The Cornish Bakery

Countryside Properties

Taylor Wimpey UK

McDermott Will & Emery UK

Isle of Wight Council

Persimmon Homes

Court of protection Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong offering under the leadership of Anthony Fairweather who is deputy for over 150 people. The skilled team specialises in the management of the whole spectrum of Court of Protection work including deputyship on international Court of Protection matters where there are assets abroad through to elderly care issues where there are disputes with local authorities and associated welfare issues. Anne Minihane is a member of the Public Guardian’s panel of professional deputies and acts as deputy for a wide range of clients such as those with acquired brain injury, a diagnosis of dementia, stroke or other learning difficulties as well as those with psychiatric illnesses. Jess Flanagan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Fairweather

Other key lawyers:

Anne Minihane; Frances Bamber; Camille Ivinson; Jess Flanagan


This is a fabulous team – it really cares about its clients, and goes to exceptional lengths to support them and to fight their corners.’

The team was highly professional yet very human. I was treated with compassion and sensitivity at every stage. The team delivered on all promises made too.

Anne Minihane always takes any concerns seriously and yet has a reassuringly light approach which makes a client feel at ease and able to confide in her.

Jess Flanagan is willing to take on matters at short notice and to a very high standard. Jess is very knowledgeable and experienced in court of protection welfare/capacity/best interests cases‘.

Jess Flanagan’s communication and interpersonal skills are outstanding and she is highly skilled at quickly getting to the heart of the matter. I felt extremely reassured having her on board‘.

Camille Ivinson has good tactical sense and judgment. She is also hugely compassionate to the vulnerable people she works with, and they love her‘.

Frances Bamber is professional yet approachable‘.

Key clients

Training in Mind (Wales)

Southern Advocacy Services (Isle of Wight)

Dorset Advocacy

Official Solicitor

Solent Mind

Swan Advocacy

Mental Health Matters ( Wales)

Bristol Mind

Debt recovery Tier 2

Philip Roberts and Kathryn Quinton co-lead Clarke Willmott LLP's team, which offers services including pre-legal collection, legal collection, payment agreements, insolvency actions and general debt recovery advice on volume and standalone matters. The group works closely with an IT team to allow it to offer bespoke debt collection process design.

Practice head(s):

Philip Roberts; Kathryn Quinton

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Hoysted; Karen Helier


Fast responses to client requests for help when customer issues arise

Consummate professionals’ 

‘Very friendly and always willing to go the extra mile for clients

Key clients

The Insolvency Service

Premier Training International

Wireless Logic

London Borough of Enfield

Corona Energy

Wembley National Stadium

Employment: Hampshire Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP has an HR consultancy offering, which draws on the expertise of both lawyers and senior HR consultants. Elsewhere, its employment team has a specialist focus on tribunal work, and it also has a strong track record of advising on restructurings and obligations under TUPE. Partner and barrister Mark Long, who heads up the practice, has TUPE experience in relation to both public and private sector transfers. Other work arises from outsourcings, insolvency proceedings and corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Marc Long

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Adams; Emily Like


An excellent team with a wealth of technical knowledge; always gives the right advice for the best commercial outcome‘.

Marc Long is extraordinarily talented and boasts a great breadth of legal knowledge‘.

Associate Nicole Adams delivers outstanding advice with confidence and professionalism’.

The lawyers at Clarke Willmott are excellent; they provide advice which is straightforward and pragmatic and place a strong emphasis on making the client feel valued with the majority of advisory work getting partner input‘.

Marc Long and Nicole Adams are dependable and meticulous in their approach. Marc is extremely knowledgeable and Nicole is clearly dedicated and committed to the client‘.

Key clients

PEI Genesis UK

Onecom Group

Marsh & Parsons

Bandai UK

One Family Foundation

Huhtamaki UK

Marina Developments


Chelsea and Westminster Swimming Club

Family: Birmingham Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP's family group, which specialises in complex financial remedy work and private children cases, acts for a broad base of clients, including professionals, academics, self-employed entrepreneurs, high-level managers in the public sector and individuals from the sports and entertainment sectors. It also works closely with practitioners in the private client and corporate and commercial departments to provide support to family businesses. Rayner Grice, who leads the family practice, is also the head of the Birmingham office.

Practice head(s):

Rayner Grice

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Young


The firm has a growing reputation for its excellent work in the Midlands area‘.

The team is highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced and provides excellent customer service and care to its clients‘.

‘Rayner Grice is an outstanding practitioner who is bright, dedicated and totally committed to each of her clients. She fiercely represents their interests and always gives sound and reasonable advice‘.

Rayner Grice and Caroline Young continue to go from strength to strength. They both know when to fight a case but also know when to accept offers that are on the table! They are very client focussed and fundamentally always prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible outcome for their clients‘.

Rayner Grice is superb in dealing with financial remedy cases as is Caroline Young. As well as having huge knowledge and experience of financial remedy cases, Rayner has the ability to engender trust in her clients from the first meeting‘.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP is equally adept at advising clients ranging from SME's to large multinationals. The firm's dedicated IP team prosecutes and enforces trade marks and design rights, maintaining a large EU and UK filing practice. It also handles anti-counterfeiting work, as well as its work with franchisees and franchisors involving various IP rights.

Key clients

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Organix Brands Limited

Medicom Healthcare Ltd

Evac+Chair International Ltd

Mozzo Coffee Limited

OneCom Limited

Revive-A-Phone Limited

Flexipads World Class Limited and Gekatex S.A.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc

Navson Limited

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP advises clients on data protection, data security issues, GDPR, major ICT acquisitions, technology disputes and IP issues. Other areas of expertise include IT, technology and software contracts. The firm has a particular focus on fintech and telecoms clients. Susan Hall - who 'has unrivalled legal knowledge and experience' - heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

Susan Hall

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Stone


They have unrivalled legal and technical experience and can go toe-to-toe with the big London names’.

Susan Hall has unrivalled legal knowledge and experience together with a real technical acumen and great client manner’.

Andrew Stone is a great technician’.

Key clients

The Berkeley Group plc

wejo Limited

Informed Solutions Limited

Denis Ferranti Meters Limited

MiX Telematics Europe Limited

Meetoo Limited

Orona Limited

Quantuma LLP

Xpertrule Limited

Allegion (UK) Limited

Social housing Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP stands out for its housing management practice where it acts for numerous registered providers. It is noted for its expertise across anti-social behaviour, possession, policy and fraud issues. It advises on tenancy agreements, and it handles tenancy and leasehold disputes and complex disrepair claims. National housing management head Lindsay Felstead, who is national head of housing management, is singled out for praise.

Practice head(s):

Lindsay Felstead


Lindsay Felstead takes the time to understand her clients’ needs and the way in which they work

Lindsay Felstead is able to communicate her advice in a clear, straight-forward manner

They team displays excellent knowledge and advice in case management

Key clients

Regenda Homes

One Manchester

South Liverpool Homes

Halton Housing Trust

Trent & Dove

Housing Plus


Stafford & Rural Homes

Staffordshire Housing

PA Housing

Social housing Tier 2

'Extremely knowledgeable in the sector', Clarke Willmott LLP's 'accessible and knowledgeable' Cardiff team has a market-leading reputation for handling financing work - including syndicated loans, securitisations and private placements - on behalf of housing associations and lenders. Team head Vicky Kells regularly acts for registered social landlords (RSLs) on the property security aspects associated with bank and bond financings. The 'solutions-oriented' Fraser MacRae provides the core financing expertise for lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Vicky Kells

Other key lawyers:

Fraser MacRae; Bethan Evans


‘The team provides thorough and insightful advice.’

‘Vicky Kells is always on hand if something really does go horribly wrong – and she has a great track record for fixing it.’

Key clients

Wales & West Housing Association

Grŵp Cynefin

Melin Housing

Cadwyn Housing

Hafod Housing Association

Rhondda Housing Association

Newydd Housing Association

Pobl Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley

L&Q Housing Trust

One Housing Group


GreenSquare Group

Yarlington Housing Group

Banking and finance Tier 3

Led by the 'calm and experiencedFraser MacRaeClarke Willmott LLP 's four-partner team provides a 'proactive service' to lenders and borrowers on real estate finance matters. It is particularly accomplished in relation to social housing finance, where the firm's work includes advice on syndicated loans, securitisations and private placements, for lenders and housing associations.

Practice head(s):

Fraser MacRae

Other key lawyers:

Bethan Evans; Clare Gregory


The team is knowledgeable and provides a great relationship based working arrangement to foster confidence.

A friendly, can-do and commercial culture allied to strong technical expertise

Bethan Evans is task-focused and approachable in heat of battle

Key clients

Triodos Bank


Santander Bank

Lloyds Bank

Allied Irish Bank

Homes England Investment

Wellesley Finance

Secure Trust Bank

One Housing Group

Melin Housing

Rhondda Housing Association

Grŵp Cynefin

Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP's commercial disputes work includes complex contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, contested debt work, restrictive covenant disputes and professional negligence claims. Areas of sector expertise include retail and financial services. Greg Hughes acts for the likes of Sony, Bandai  and Wiggle. Hughes co-heads the practice with experienced solicitor advocate Owen Williams. Associate Cathy Harris is another key figure in the group.

Practice head(s):

Owen Williams; Greg Hughes

Other key lawyers:


The team was friendly and truly passionate about understanding my business‘.

Key clients

Sony Europe


Bandai UK


The Student Room Group

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Serocor Group

Peer 1

Onecom Group

Salhan Accountants

UK Land

Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP works on a steady flow of management buyout deals involving private equity-backed entities. Its team is also increasingly sought out in cross-jurisdictional transactions. Richard Swain has a strong track record of acting for clients in the banking & finance and telecommunications sectors. The firm's ability to deliver full-service corporate and commercial advice is supported by expertise in ancillary areas, such as real estate, IP, and employment. Niall Murphy provides tax support to corporate clients.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Balmont

Other key lawyers:

Richard Swain; Chidem Aliss; Emma Couch; Amy Kerr


Richard Swain and Amy Kerr are both very helpful and efficient; they always meet their deadlines‘.

The team is pro-active and works towards deadline dates diligently. As a banking client, we are fully kept in the loop with regard to pending transactions and concerns as they are raised‘.

Clarke Willmott takes a balanced approach problem-solving; it looks for a solution that achieves client aims without clocking up unnecessary time in arguing over niche legal points for the sake of it‘.

The individuals I work with are always available to discuss matters or answer questions‘.

Key clients

Capital Cash

Total Rail Solutions

Eton Fire

Amiri Construction

Marindus Group

Import Services

Burgon and Ball

NetPay Solutions Group



Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Acting for a diverse client roster including creditors, insolvency practitioners and directors, Clarke Willmott LLP is active in the private and public sector and handles contentious and non-contentious matters relating to corporate insolvency and recovery of assets. Senior associate Sheena Tandy left to join Shakespeare Martineau LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Slinn

Key clients



Smith & Williamson

The Insolvency Service


CBA Recovery

Duff & Phelps



Moore Stephens

Santander UK

K J Watkin

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP, whose 'breadth of knowledge is second to none', is very experienced in advising on general succession issues and inheritance tax and asset protection planning for business owners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth families. With the recent acquisition of a three-strong team from DWF, the firm now boasts the expertise of 'fiercely intelligent' Paul Davies as its new practice head, alongside 'technically astute' senior associate Nicola Walker and the 'excellent' Emma Collins.

Practice head(s):

Paul Davies

Other key lawyers:


‘Paul Davies’ technical expertise is exceptional.’

‘Nicola Walker is exceptional in her attention to clients.’

‘Emma Collins is excellent.’

‘This is one of the only private client teams in Manchester with charisma and personality; as well as being both highly professional, efficient and client-focused.’

‘The breadth of knowledge within the team is second to none, notably on tax matters where they are by far and away the most capable and credible at handling complex matters for families.’  

‘Paul Davies is fiercely intelligent.’

‘Nicola Walker is approachable and technically astute and a stand out individual within an already impressive Clarke Willmott practice.’

Social housing Tier 3

On the housing management front, Clarke Willmott LLP handles the full range of tenancy management issues, such as enforcement proceedings, PRS tenancies, as well as exemptions, policies and procedures, and income recovery. The firm also has a dedicated home sales team, which guides social housing clients at all stages from site acquisition to plot sales. Property litigation is another cornerstone of the work, with the firm acting for clients in cases involving contentious leasehold and development issues. Hannah Langford divides time between London and Southampton. Associate Anne Jones, who specialises in planning and highways work, is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Langford; Lindsay Felstead

Other key lawyers:


The team met my request in a very timely manner and went the extra mile to do so‘.

Charlotte Westwood has advised me and guided me in various land sales and selling our garage sites at auction; Charlotte’s advice on each auction was invaluable‘.

Key clients

Radian Group

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

Merlin Housing Society – part of Bromford

GreenSquare Group

Yarlington Housing Group

Saxon Weald

Westward Housing Group

Ocean Housing Group

United Communities

LiveWest Homes Limited

Moat Homes Limited

Aster Group

Raven Housing Trust

Clarion Group

Social housing: finance Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP's strong reputation in social housing finance ensures that it attracts a varied portfolio of work from housing associations and institutional lender clients. Vicky Kells leads the specialist national team, which undertakes a broad cross-section of transactions, including those involving bilateral and syndicated lending, private placements, aggregated bonds, debt capital markets issues and development finance. In 2018, Kells and associate Charlotte Lord acted for new client Wales & West Housing on a charging exercise comprising 1,400 residential properties to support a £70m loan facility. Another mandate involved Kells advising Southern Housing Group on property security to be put in place concerning its £75m MUFG revolving credit facility. Fraser MacRae is another experienced partner in the group, which also includes Bethan Evans.

Practice head(s):

Kary Withers (sector leader); Vicky Kells (national head of social housing finance)

Other key lawyers:


Queries are responded to in a timely manner by email or on a shared spreadsheet. When completing a project we also have weekly calls to ensure all questions are answered. Timetable is set at the beginning of each exercise and reviewed weekly. Clarke Willmott will chase the bank’s lawyers to ensure that they also stick to the timetable. Fees are agreed before we begin work and do not go over budget. Clarke Willmott takes time to build good relationships and understand us and our needs.

Vicky Kells is a very experienced lawyer, who has excellent knowledge of property law and securitisation. Her team is also highly skilled in assisting her with achieving our property charging objectives on time. Both Vicky and her team are very easy to work with. They try to avoid using legal speak and explain things thoroughly in a manner we can understand.

This firm’s team is very knowledgeable, client-focused and offers good value for money. Competitors could learn a lot from it.

Both Vicky Kells and Fraser MacRae are real experts in their field.

The team is experienced, thorough, comprised of great problem solvers and is practical. Individuals work well together and provide a joined-up service.

Key clients

London & Quadrant


One Housing Group

Wales & West Housing Association

Grŵp Cynefin

Triodos Bank NV

Handelsbanken plc

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Southern Housing Group

Principality Building Society

Handelsbanken plc

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham Tier 4

Clarke Willmott LLP has a broad corporate practice but its Birmingham office has a particular focus on the education, manufacturing, logistics and real estate sectors. John Irving  works at the helm and is notably skilled in  competition and supply chain issues. Corporate lawyer Andrew Beedham  is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Irving

Other key lawyers:


John Irving is always punctual, never misses deadlines and goes out of his way to assist clients.’

Key clients

Comau UK Limited

MiX Telematics Europe Limited

Conex Universal Limited

Ingersoll Rand Limited

Aberclay Limited

Ballard Casinos Limited

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 4

Clarke Willmott LLP 's "responsive and engaging" team handles M&A for acquisitive clients, disposal for equity investors and management teams, cross-border transactions and also commercial contracts. Clients include SMEs, IFA groups, lenders, brokers and financial intermediaries. Recently the firm has seen an increasing number of instructions in the healthcare sector, particularly in dentistry. Ed Foulkes heads the team. Matthew Dootson joined as associate from an in-house position at IMH Group.

Practice head(s):

Ed Foulkes

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Dootson; Helen Tse; Susan Hall


Responsive and engaging service by lawyers who want to deliver solutions that work commercially’.

Ed Foulkes continues to provide strong leadership and is at the forefront of a team that is more adept and consistent in delivery than many big firms in the city’.

Key clients

Andy Scott / REL

Rayner Spencer Mills Research Limited

Astute Holdings Limited

Fluid Trust PLC

Northern Provident Investments Limited

Growth Capital Group

GYR Financial Consulting Limited

ME Group

MWA Holdings Limited

Ergowealth Group

Family Tier 4

Clarke Willmott LLP works with a diverse range of high-net-worth clients, handling complex matters relating to divorce and wealth protection, as well as issues regarding family business arrangements. The firm also has expertise in private law children matters. Chris Longbottom 'leads the team with experience and authority'.

Practice head(s):

Chris Longbottom


‘The people I have dealt with have been extremely friendly, helpful and understanding of my situation.’

They make dealing with legal issues easy with their easy-to-understand approach

‘Chris Longbottom is very approachable and personable.’

‘The family law team invest in every single client –  they make you feel like you’re the only client that matters’

‘Chris Longbottom is extremely knowledgeable about his sector of expertise, particularly in divorce law. He finds it easy to identify with clients and uses his previous case experience well to outline to clients how he can add value.’

‘Chris Longbottom leads the team with experience and authority. He has an excellent relationship with his clients and the service he provides goes above and beyond in terms of the support and dedication he offers to clients.’

‘Emily Barcilon is a rising star. She has a clear eye for detail and adopts a thorough approach to case preparation. This, teamed with her calm and personable demeanour makes her an excellent choice for family clients. ‘

‘Chris Longbottom is a well-known, highly experienced family lawyer.’

Personal injury: claimant Tier 4

Philip Edwards, leads the serious injury team at Clarke Willmott LLP, and has a particular focus on adult and child brain injury cases. The wider group's expertise includes matters involving complex psychiatric disorder issues, spinal cord injuries, industrial disease cases and amputation injuries. It is also experienced in fatal accident claims.

Practice head(s):

Chris Thorne (Taunton)

Other key lawyers:


Philip Edwards is highly experienced in neuro trauma and cases of the utmost severity. His personal attention to his cases rather than simply overseeing team work marks him out as a first-class practitioner‘.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Clarke Willmott LLP provides the full range of private wealth services, including advice on wills, tax planning, administration of estates, powers of attorney, Court of Protection and elderly client work. Erica Burt-Moore is experienced in lifetime tax planning for business owners and those in the process of selling a business. She also advises on trust structures to maximise inheritance tax relief, as well as on the administration of estates involving the winding up of businesses and large property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Erica Burt-Moore


The expertise that we receive from Erica Burt-Moore is second to none and allows us to make decisions. She has a calm and measured approach that assists when she has to get buy in from the trustees of our company‘.

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers Tier 4

Clarke Willmott LLP's sizeable team is spread across its seven offices nationwide, and comprises of lawyers with deep sector experience. Hannah Langford has previously worked as a property and contracts lawyer at Clarion Housing Group, while associate Muzammel Mian was formerly with the Metropolitan Housing Trust. Housing management and property development are particularly notable areas of strength, but the firm's work also covers corporate, governance, tax, regulatory, employment and human resources, property litigation, and banking and securitisation, among other disciplines. Illustrative of its presence in the market, the firm acts for more than 100 registered providers. In 2018, Lindsay Felstead was the lead adviser to Lewisham Homes on an ex parte application for an injunction to exclude a vulnerable tenant from a property where he had allowed unlawful occupiers to gain entry. On the non-contentious side, Vicky Kells and associate James Young assisted Bromford Housing Association Limited with title due diligence and charging of properties as part of a £300m bond issue. Kary Withers is the overall head of the social housing team, which also includes Oliver Smedley and Stuart Wilson.

Practice head(s):

Kary Withers (Sector Leader)

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Smedley (National Head of Property & Development (Social Housing); Lindsay Felstead (National Head of Housing Management); Vicky Kells (National Head of Social Housing Finance);


Stuart Wilson’s advice is speedy without being hurried, detailed yet concise

Hannah Langford and Sarah Cave are very skilled and knowledgeable, and take time to explain complex information. They are personable and always professional, and assertive (but non-aggressive) when dealing with difficult individuals on the other side. I feel very confident I am getting sound advice that enables me to make informed decisions

The team has a strong focus on seeing matters through to completion. It considers all aspects of a transaction and not simply its specific remit, bringing in colleagues from other disciplines, where necessary

Hannah Langford has experience of working for a local authority and a registered provider. Hannah is very focused on seeing issues through to a conclusion

I have had the pleasure of working on numerous complex projects directly with Hannah Langford, Ayesha Ramzan, Shinal Badiani, Aaron Macauley and Megan Churchill. They have personalised the working relationship, establishing trust and commitment to providing legal advice to make my projects a success. Clarke Willmott takes the time to truly understand the complexities of our projects which in turn enhances the quality of the service provided

The team has in-depth knowledge of the housing sector and the legal issues affecting it, as well as a willingness to dig deep to find the answers

Key clients

Lewisham Homes

Settle Group

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Newlon Housing Trust

Clarion Housing Association Limited

The Guinness Partnership Limited

Hexagon Housing Association


One Housing Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Stonewater Housing

Greatwell Homes

Women’s Pioneer Housing Limited

Commercial property Tier 5

Able to leverage the firm's strong ties with numerous national lenders and also gaining increased traction in the local market, the Cardiff-based team at Clarke Willmott LLP is particularly strong at handling real estate finance, across general commercial property as well as social housing finance, where Vicky Kells has a particular niche.

Practice head(s):

Vicky Kells

Other key lawyers:

Clare Gregory


The team takes a very collaborative approach and provides timely and constructive support and advice.

No matter how awkward the title, or how complex the underlying transaction, or how restrictive the timescales, the team delivers.

Clare Gregory always goes the extra mile to make a completion happen – working above and beyond for all transactions.


Key clients

Santander UK

Rhondda Housing Association

Principality Building Society

Urban Mining Energy

Cambridge & Counties Bank

Careers Wales

Wales & West Housing

Svenska Handelsbanken

Tridos Bank

Lloyds Bank

Secure Trust Bank

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 5

Clarke Willmott LLP stands out for its retail development work, with Lidl being the practice's key client. The team is also involved in commercial property finance and refinance matters, and advises corporate occupiers on transactions, leasing and development. Key members of the team include Jonathan Morton, Iain Harrison and Fiona Rendell, who was promoted to partner in Mai 2018.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Morton; Iain Harrison; Fiona Rendell


‘Direct personal contact and highly responsive.’

‘No-nonsense advice and prompt responses.’

‘Good quality advice with a down-to-earth attitude.’

‘Lawyers who give straight answers to questions, have a strong commercial view to tackle problems and get the job done in a set time frame.’

‘Fiona Rendell has great attention to detail – her knowledge is extensive and she delivers a high quality service within our timescales.’

Key clients


Thomas Dudley Group Limited

Pegasus Life Limited

All-Electric Garages plc

Police and Crime Commissioner for West Midlands

Rediweld Holdings Limited

Crawshaw Group plc

Uplift Property Limited

Tanners Wines Limited

Smart Ideas Limited

David Wilson Homes North West

Beechdean Homes Limited

Opalmech Limited

All of Us Development Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc

Construction Tier 5

Clarke Willmott LLP's construction offering has been significantly bolstered by the arrival of department head James Driver and a team which includes consultant David Lorenzo , from Freeths LLP. The team stands out for its niche experience in acting for large, Spanish EPC contractors on projects in the UK and overseas and it is developing a broader practice in advising EPC contractors. The firm is experienced in energy and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Priscilla Hall (London); James Driver

Key clients

SACYR – a multi-national infrastructure and services company based in Spain


Styles & Wood Group


Orona Group

John Turner Construction Group



Gleeds Iberica


Pulse Gyms

Employment Tier 5

At Clarke Willmott LLP, the team run by the 'bright and tenacious' Emma Hamnett is adept at dealing with business protection matters, injunctions and complex High Court case. The department has recently been very active in advising on the enforcement of restrictive covenants, as well as the defending of breaches, particularly in the financial services and recruitment sectors, acting for medium-sized employers and senior executives.

Practice head(s):

Emma Hamnett


Outstanding quality in depth – clients are realising they can obtain cost-effective solutions with very high quality lawyers.

Emma Hamnett is bright, tenacious and excellent with clients. Through a mix of her legal knowledge, judgrment and commerciality, she repeatedly gets results – whether by settlement or in court – that other lawyers simply never would. She has a loyal and unsurprising growing following, not just in the North West but also from other regions.

Key clients

Bauer Radio

Talent International

Square 1 Products Limited

Independent Port Handling Authority Limited

NVC Lighting Limited

Panmure Gordon & Co

Ruskin Properties Limited

Abt Associates Ltd

Calbee (UK) Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 5

Clarke Willmott LLP is instructed across a raft of contentious and non-contentious matters involving both personal and corporate insolvency. The team is experienced in technically complex cases often with a cross-border element; and regularly handles complex antecedent transactions and procedural applications.  It counts banks and other financiers, insolvency practitioners, individuals, businesses, directors, stakeholders and creditors as clients. Chris Keane  leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Chris Keane

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Bentley


A very able team with good experience

Key clients

Grant Thornton

CVR Global

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery

Duff & Phelps



FRP Advisory

Harper McLeod

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 6

Clarke Willmott LLP's Manchester practice is led by commercial and private client litigator John Flint, who has expertise in shareholder disputes, complex contractual disputes and defamation, among other areas. Clients include high-net-worth individuals, owners, directors and shareholders of plcs, medium and small businesses and major financial institutions. The north west team work in tandem with the national firm's other bases in Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton.

Practice head(s):

John Flint

Key clients

The National Union of Mineworkers

Leisuresec plc

USL Consultants Limited

Fieldside Business Support Limited

Richard Wales

Andy Scott/REL Capital Limited

Capital Growth Group Limited

Patricia and Derek Smith

Daisy Street Limited

Wessex Investment Management Limited

Clarke Willmott LLP is a law firm with a regional, sector-led approach across England and Wales. it invests time in developing relationships with clients and is known for its high level of service, straightforward manner and transparent fee solutions.

The firm: Recognising that clients prefer working with lawyers who understand the climate in which they operate and how their business actually works day-to-day, Clarke Willmott decided a number of years ago to adopt a sector-led approach.

The success of this strategy is evident by its reputation in a number of key industry areas. These include its 100-strong real estate and construction group, nationally renowned 40-strong social housing group, and specialist retail group. It also has leading teams advising on private client, commercial services, agriculture, renewable energy and sport.

Clarke Willmott works with an extensive client base of private sector businesses, sole traders, public sector bodies, high-net-worth individuals and charitable organisations, and they advise on almost every aspect of the law.

Clarke Willmott has seven regional offices and over 600 lawyers and support staff, including over 100 partners. The focus at Clarke Willmott is on steady, repeatable, year-on-year planned growth. It will continue to develop its teams in order to deliver services on a national basis.

Types of work undertaken: Clarke Willmott has expertise across a range of industry sectors and has market-leading teams in:

Agriculture: the agriculture and estates team provides a full complement of legal services (both contentious and non-contentious) to the agricultural and rural landowning communities nationally.

Banking and finance: advises clearing and private banks, building societies, specialist lenders and borrowers (both corporate and individual) on all aspects of lending transactions and related issues including recoveries, financial litigation and professional negligence claims.

Commercial services: advises all sizes of companies and other organisations, in particular high-growth and entrepreneurial businesses, on transactional and commercial work, contractual issues, employment services, restructuring and insolvency, litigation and debt collection.

Financial services: offers sector-focused expertise from a range of different practice areas, notably corporate and litigation. Clients include product providers, brokers, lenders and financial advisers, and businesses requiring authorisation for consumer credit activities.

Housebuilder: regarded as leading legal advisers to the residential development sector, acting for many of the UK’s largest volume housebuilders as well as for strategic land companies, smaller traditional builders and niche start-up ventures with particular expertise in all property aspects.

Intellectual property: acts for all types of businesses from new start-ups to household names in relation to the protection, enforcement and exploitation of their intellectual property rights.

Private client: particular experience in acting for professionals, high-net-worth individuals, family businesses and those with interests in the entertainment, sports and agricultural sectors. Provides advice on succession planning, trusts, tax, divorce and family law, wealth protection, property issues, litigation, and personal injury and clinical negligence.

Real estate and construction: one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with more than 100 lawyers specialising in all aspects of commercial property, construction and procurement, development (including complex landlord and tenant, acquisition and disposal issues), regeneration, planning, property litigation and estate management.

Energy and natural resources: advice spans all aspects of renewable energy work from inception of a project through to planning, acquisition, financing, construction, regulation, commissioning, grid connection and subsequent operation of plants and facilities.

Social housing: one of the largest of its kind in the UK delivering services across England and Wales. The team acts for over 100 clients comprising RPs, RSLs, ALMOs, local authorities, charities and care organisations.

Technology: services include drafting and negotiating large-scale ICT acquisitions, including appropriate service level agreements, ICT outsourcing, managed service provision, website design and development, Cloud service agreements, software as a service data protection issues and social media issues.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Jonathan Morton
Chief executive Stephen Rosser
Managing Director - Commercial Simon Thomas
Managing Director - Core Litigation Philippa Hann
Managing Director - Private Client Anthony Fairweather
Managing Director - Property Services Graham McIntyre
Managing Director - Commercial Property Peter Swinburn
Photo Name Position Profile
 Martin Askew  photo Martin Askew Martin is a Partner in the Restructuring and Insolvency team and he…
 Neil Baker  photo Neil Baker Neil is a Partner in Clarke Willmott’s Planning and Environment Team and acts…
 AnnaLiisa Blanks-Walden  photo AnnaLiisa Blanks-Walden Annaliisa Blanks Walden is a Partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Construction…
 Philip Brown  photo Philip Brown Philip Brown is a Partner in the Commercial Property team specialising in development and…
 Louise Brown  photo Louise Brown Louise Brown is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Real Estate…
 Paul Chapman  photo Paul Chapman Paul is the Managing Director of the Litigation Division and the firm’s…
 Chris Charlton  photo Chris Charlton Chris Charlton is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors Bristol Planning team…
 Michael Craik  photo Michael Craik Michael is a Partner in the Construction team specialising in contentious construction…
 Simon Day  photo Simon Day Simon is a Partner in the Real Estate team specialising in commercial…
 Anthony Fairweather  photo Anthony Fairweather Anthony Fairweather is a Partner and Managing Director in the Private Client team…
 Kerry Fifield  photo Kerry Fifield Kerry Fifield is a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Bristol Clinical Negligence team…
 Simon Freeman  photo Simon Freeman Simon is a Partner in the Property Litigation team specialising in asset…
 Jane Halton  photo Jane Halton Jane Halton is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Private Client…
 Neil Ham  photo Neil Ham Neil is a partner in our Property Litigation team whose expertise has…
 Philippa Hann  photo Philippa Hann Philippa is a Partner in the Financial Services Litigation team specialising in…
 Karen Howe  photo Karen Howe Karen Howe is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Planning &…
 Alex Jakubowski  photo Alex Jakubowski Alex is a Partner in the Commercial Litigation team and has particular experience with…
 Kevin Jones  photo Kevin Jones Kevin Jones is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol National Employment…
 William Juckes  photo William Juckes William Juckes is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Commercial Property…
 Laurence Lacey  photo Laurence Lacey Laurence Lacey is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Commercial Property…
 Sharon Latham  photo Sharon Latham Sharon Latham is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Employment team…
 Greg Lovett  photo Greg Lovett Greg Lovett is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Commercial Property…
 Ken MacLennan  photo Ken MacLennan Ken MacLennan is a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Bristol Insolvency & Restructuring…
 Bonnie Martin  photo Bonnie Martin Bonnie Martin is a Partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Property Litigation…
 Graham McIntyre  photo Graham McIntyre Graham is a Partner and Managing Director in our Property Litigation team and…
 Anne Minihane  photo Anne Minihane Anne Minihane is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Private Capital…
 Richard Moore  photo Richard Moore Richard Moore is a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Bristol Commercial & Private…
 Peter O’Brien  photo Peter O’Brien Peter is a partner in the Construction team specialising in  construction dispute…
 Martin Pettingell  photo Martin Pettingell Martin is a partner in our Personal Injury department with a particular interest in brain…
 Beverley Pike  photo Beverley Pike Beverley Pike is a solicitor in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Commercial Property team…
 Rob Ridd  photo Rob Ridd
 Stephen Rosser  photo Stephen Rosser Stephen is Clarke Willmott’s Chief Executive having been elected to that position…
 Gareth Schofield  photo Gareth Schofield Gareth Schofield is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Family team…
 Stephen Searle  photo Stephen Searle Stephen Searle is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Financial Services…
 Oliver Smedley  photo Oliver Smedley Oliver is a Partner in our Commercial Property team specialising in development…
 Simon Smith  photo Simon Smith Simon is a Partner in the Corporate team specialising in the acquisition…
 Elizabeth Smithers  photo Elizabeth Smithers Elizabeth Smithers is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Private Client…
 Zoe Stollard  photo Zoe Stollard Zoe Stollard is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Construction team…
 Chris Taylor  photo Chris Taylor Chris Taylor is a Partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Property Litigation…
 Simon Thomas  photo Simon Thomas Simon is a Partner and Managing Directo in the Corporate team specialising in…
 Philip Thompson  photo Philip Thompson
 Clare Titchener  photo Clare Titchener Clare Titchener is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Commercial Property…
 Stephen Trump  photo Stephen Trump Stephen Trump is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Bristol Serious Injury…
 Marguarita Tyne  photo Marguarita Tyne Marguarita is a Partner in the Personal Injury team specialising in Clinical…
 Kary Withers  photo Kary Withers Kary heads Clarke Willmott’s Social Housing team and is a Partner in…
 Helen Wittram  photo Helen Wittram Helen is a Partner in the property team specialising in all aspects…
 Esther Woolford  photo Esther Woolford Esther Woolford is a partner in Clarke Willmott solicitors’ Taunton commercial and…
Number of UK partners : 100+
Number of other UK fee-earners : 340+
All main business languages
Society of Construction Law
Institute of Directors
Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Law Society of England & Wales